Texting while driving is an epidemic that kills and severely injures people across the state of Illinois every day. When a driver texts while they are driving, they take their mind and their focus off the road, which is incredibly dangerous to themselves and others around them.
If you were in an accident due to another driver that was texting and driving, the law is often on your side. Consider speaking to a Chicago texting while driving car accident lawyer about what compensation may be available to you and how an experienced car wreck attorney could help you pursue it.
Texting and Driving Laws in Chicago
Chicago is governed by the Illinois Vehicle Code, which states that it is illegal for any driver to write, send, or even read a text message while they are driving. This law originally went into effect in January of 2014, but a recent amendment made it illegal for anyone to use an electronic device, such as a smartphone, at all while driving. Any form of distracted driving is dangerous for drivers and passengers on the road.
This amendment means that drivers in Chicago cannot watch videos, check email, or do anything else of the sort while on the roads. The main reason people use their phones while driving, however, is still to compose, send, and read texts.
Those who disobey the law may not only have a civil lawsuit filed against them if they cause injury to someone else through their negligence, but they may also face criminal penalties that include high fines and even jail time. While the state prosecutor would be the one to file any criminal charges, a Chicago texting while driving car accident lawyer could help those injured in a crash file a civil lawsuit.
Criminal Cases vs. Civil Cases
Criminal cases focus on whether or not the defendant broke the law. If they are found guilty, they would be convicted of misdemeanor or felony charges and likely have to pay restitution to the state in addition to serving some other form of punishment.
A civil lawsuit, on the other hand, focuses on the negligence of the defendant. In this context, negligence is failing to act in a reasonable manner that would keep people safe.
Breaking the law, such as by texting and driving, is a form of negligence in Chicago. A Chicago texting while driving car accident attorney could help prove that a defendant was texting while driving, and therefore negligent, to get injured individuals the compensation they deserve.
The results of criminal cases have no bearing on related civil cases, and vice versa. For this reason, even if someone is found not guilty in a criminal court, injured individuals can still choose to file a civil lawsuit.
A Chicago Texting While Driving Car Accident Attorney Could Help
It can be difficult to prove that another driver was texting while driving at the time of an accident, and you may feel hopeless about your odds of doing so by yourself. A skilled attorney, however, could know how to get phone records showing that texts were either sent or received and work to gather other evidence from the scene of the accident. They could then use this evidence to fight for your rights in court and prove negligence on the part of the other driver.
If you were injured in a car accident and believe it was due to another driver texting while they were driving, it may be important that you speak to a Chicago texting while driving car accident lawyer as soon as possible. A dedicated attorney may be able to give you your best chance at getting compensation for any injuries or damages you may have suffered.